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Rainbow Rare Earths release final assay results

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Global Mining Review,

Rainbow Rare Earths Ltd has announced the final assay results from the auger drilling programme completed at the Phalaborwa Rare Earths Project located in South Africa, further to the publication of the initial set of assay results on 12 February 2021, which confirm:

  • Average grade of 0.45% total rare earths oxide (TREO).
  • Average combined grade of 0.13% eodymium and Praseodymium (NdPr) oxide, representing 28.9% of the TREO grade reported in the rare earths basket.
  • Economic levels of Dysprosium and Terbium (DyTb) recorded, enhancing the overall rare earths basket value contained in the stacks by approximately 15%.
  • Low levels of radioactive elements present in the stacks.

The assay results are broadly supportive of previous indications from the Sasol sample and test work programme. The assay results and average grades reported (which incorporate previously announced holes) do not represent a mineral resource estimate. Following the receipt of these results and prior to the publication of a JORC (2012) Mineral Resource Estimate, Rainbow will carry out an additional drilling programme within the estimated +/-35 million t gypsum stacks to confirm bulk density as well performing an updated topography survey.

George Bennett, CEO, said: "These results further reinforce our confidence in the considerable potential of Phalaborwa in South Africa. The grades reported, augmented by the Dysprosium and Terbium credits, highlight the substantial overall value of the rare earths basket contained within these gypsum stacks, surpassing our original expectations based on current rare earth prices.

In essence, although the average assay grade reported has dropped from 0.50% TREO to 0.45% TREO, the overall value per tonne of gypsum is 15% higher than we initially anticipated thanks to the high value of the DyTb. The overall rare earth basket price was expected to be dominated by the NdPr content, which at current prices is valued at US$111/t gypsum based on the assay values reported. The additional DyTb credit adds a further US$36/t gypsum, significantly enhancing the recoverable value of the rare earths from the gypsum stacks. Together, these high value elements represent over 92% of the total value of the Phalaborwa rare earths basket.

The Phalaborwa asset represents a fast-track development project, with metallurgical test-work underway at ANSTO in Sydney, to design an optimised processing circuit for recovery of a mixed rare earth carbonate."

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